Don't be afraid of heavy lenses

Started Feb 20, 2017 | Discussions thread
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Greyser Veteran Member • Posts: 5,699
Don't be afraid of heavy lenses

I've been seeing here quite a few posts how unbearably heavy most telephoto lenses are. To me half of the burden might be tolerated by proper lens/camera carrying. Despite of the fact that I did elaborate on the matter in the past I never showed my way of carrying TWO big rigs at once. So, here you go.

At the very end of 2016 I took my son on his 31st birthday with me to the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. I gave him K-5IIs with FA*300/4.5 attached. Quite unexpected outcome of the trip along with a few keepers was many images of myself, which obviously I was unable to produce myself before.

So, it gives me an opportunity to show my way of handling two big rigs. Please also note that 99% of the time I shoot handheld.

Due to hot South California weather conditions I do not use any backpacks at all. To carry all my extras I use waist bags instead: Lowepro Inverse 200 AW Beltpack or larger and more versatile MountainSmith Tour FX. This helps keeping my camera straps on my back undisturbed and freely moving. Sometimes I add a monopod strapped underneath of the bags, but barely use it.

I keep my main 9 lb. K-3 + Sigma 500/4.5 rig on Carry Speed FS-Pro strap with two points attachement (older DIY-modified design). One strap is attached to the lens mounting leg, another strap - directly to the camera.

See also

Second body K-1 + D FA 150-450 (another 9 lb.) is connected to Peak Design Capture Pro camera clip, attached to the front bag loop.

Shooting K-1+D FA 150-450:

Out of my paranoia I added some extra safety features (mostly to K-1+D FA 150-450 combo), including extra shoulder strap for the bag which basically extra holds Peak Design clip attached to the bag, safety cord for K-1 itself, and safety loop connecting the bag and sturdy belt of my pants. However, they are not 100% necessary and quite easy to implement.

As you can see my ultimate load is around 20-25lb. (including optional monopod and some extra wide angle, TC, etc. lenses and stuff in a bag). I can't say that it is feather light. However, I'm able to walk 5-7 miles, actively shooting both cameras. And I'm not young and very sporty anymore.

I hope this post may help someone to relieve some heavy camera burden.

Happy shooting to you all,


 Greyser's gear list:Greyser's gear list
Pentax K-01 Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-3 Nikon D500 Pentax K-1
Pentax FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 Pentax K-1 Pentax K-3
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